Chandigarh has so far reported 22 dengue cases

Chandigarh has so far reported only 22 cases of dengue, as compared to last year, which recorded more than 1,000 cases, many of them being severe ones requiring hospitalisation as well as blood transfusion.

“Last year, there was a delay in rains, high day temperatures, perfect conditions for the breeding of mosquitoes. We were also dealing with a high number of Covid cases, and the system was overwhelmed. We told patients who tested positive for dengue to come to the hospital and get treatment immediately.

This year, to prevent an outbreak, the health department has deputed teams across the city to do home-to-home checking and monitoring of public buildings and areas where there is an issue of water logging and sanitation,” said Dr Suman Singh, Director, Health Services.

According to Dr Suman, so far, 71 challans, 5,700 notices, and 69 notices to people have been issued, along with preventive measures, including fumigation and advisories have yielded positive results.

Medical teams have also been deputed to high-density areas of the city to check for collection of stagnant water, breeding of mosquitoes, and information dissemination. Dr Suman added that they have noticed a trend of a high incidence of dengue cases every three years.

Dr Vikas Bhutani, Internal Medicine Specialist, Fortis Hospital, said that the most common symptom of dengue is fever with any of the additional symptoms — nausea/vomiting, rash, aches, and pains (eye pain, typically behind the eyes, headache, muscle, joint, or bones) or bleeding from any site and a drop in platelet counts in many cases. Symptoms of dengue typically last from two to seven days. Most people recover after about a week. “There is no specific medication to treat dengue. We recommend as much rest as possible, and taking paracetamol to control fever and relieve pain. Do not take aspirin or ibuprofen.” added Dr Bhutani, suggesting that patients should drink plenty of fluids, monitor platelet counts daily, and be in touch with the their doctor in case they drop to 10,000 or less. “About 1 in 20 people who get sick with dengue will develop severe dengue.”

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The best way to prevent dengue is to take precautions to avoid contact with mosquitoes. When outdoors, use a mosquito repellant on exposed parts of the skin, especially for children. Dress in protective clothing, long-sleeved shirts, long pants, socks, and shoes. Use mosquito coils and nets, wherever required. As Aedes mosquitoes usually bite during the day, be sure to use precautions, especially during the early morning hours before daybreak and in the late afternoon before dark. At present, the only other method of controlling or preventing dengue is to combat the vector mosquitoes. Proper solid waste disposal and improved water storage practices, including covering containers to prevent access to egg-laying female mosquitoes and by adding kerosene oil to stagnant water help to prevent its spread.

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